Sigma Unicorn Review

Makaveli - 2008-05-15 01:37:13 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: Makaveli   
Reviewed on: May 20, 2008
Sigma
Sigma
Price: $99.99 USD

Introduction:

One component that always separates enthusiasts is the chassis that holds their components. The case can define your personality, show your taste, and your expertise in computers. Almost every enthusiast that I know has picked their case because of its features, but more importantly, its appearance. Personally, I love cases that are painted black, look very sleek and are complimented by a nice red or blue LED fan on the inside. I also tend to like cases that are either full tower or mid tower because almost every component I have has aftermarket parts installed on it. The biggest problem I have is trying to fit my CPU heatsink in the case or that really long video card. Let's take a look at a new mid tower case from Sigma named the Unicorn and see exactly what it has to offer.

Sigma is a rather new brand on the computer hardware scene, but from its products that I have seen, I can definitely say that the company has some unique and innovative products because I have never seen anything like some of them. The company's cases stand out more than anything to me and I'm very interested to see how this Sigma Unicorn case is like in terms of quality, performance, and aesthetics. Will this product alone cement Sigma's place in the computer hardware market as a heavy hitter? All of these questions and more will be answered as we examine this mid tower case.

 

Closer Look:

The Sigma Unicorn comes packaged in a fairly large black box with predominately red writing on it. On the front and back of the box, you'll be shown the case, as well as some of its key features. On either side of the box you'll be able to find the specifications of the case. One feature that really caught my eye was the ability to pull down each side of the case since one side contains a motherboard tray. For someone who is constantly swapping out hardware, a motherboard tray is a must in a case. I can't wait to open the box and see this feature!

 

 

The Sigma Unicorn is held in place by Styrofoam to prevent any damage during shipping. Also, you'll find plastic all over the case to protect it from scratches that it may incur.

 

Now let's take a closer look at the case itself.

Closer Look:

The Case:

Wow, as soon as the packaging comes off of the case, you'll notice just how sleek the case is. There is a nice black finish on the case that isn't too glossy and fingerprints don't show up very easily. The plastic front bezel opens up to reveal the drive bays and a 120mm red LED fan at the bottom of the case, as well as the front panel audio and USB ports. On top of the front bezel you'll find the power and reset buttons. The back of this case reveals the 120mm exhaust fan that removes a majority of the hot air inside the case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On one side of the case there is a smoked, or tinted, window which is very unique. You'll also notice a steel bar going across the bottom side of the case with a fan on the end. Also, you can tell that this case is tool-less by looking at the optical drive bays that have plastic pieces on the side of them. The back of the case has 80mm fan vents for a case fan that isn't included with the Sigma Unicorn.

 

Now let's open up the case and see what it has to offer inside!

Closer Look:

The Working Components:

As mentioned earlier, both sides of the case can be pulled down by a latch on the top of each side panel. Now we get a closer look at the steel arm that goes across the case and puts a fan right up next to your video card to give it fresh air and cool it off a little bit. "Sigma" is painted in red on this black piece of steel. There are three separate compartments on the inside of the case. One is for the optical drives, the second is for floppy drives, and the third is the hard drive cage. Under the hard drive cage is a small red toolbox that we'll open up soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other side of the case can also be pulled down by opening the latch on top of the panel. As expected, the motherboard tray is connected to this panel; this makes it easy to get to the motherboard quickly and painlessly. There were some major clearance issues with my giant Thermaltake V1 CPU heatsink, so you should check to see if your aftermarket heatsink will clear your power supply when you try to close the side panel. Once you remove the hard drive cage, you'll see that the 120mm red LED fan in the front is blowing fresh air on the hard drives. Under the hard drive cage is that red box that I mentioned earlier. Inside of this red box is where you'll find the clips for the hard drives so that they slid into the hard drive cage, extra screws, and a motherboard speaker cable that you attach to the speaker ports on your motherboard's front panel pins section.

 

 

 

When you remove the front bezel from the case, you'll notice that it is just a steel frame with holes for cables and air to travel through. Also, notice the 120mm red LED fan mounted on the bottom. On the side of the motherboard tray, you can fit an 80mm fan inside of the designated slot, but a fan isn't included.

 

 

Let's go ahead and test the case to see how well it performs.

Specifications:

Brand
SIGMA
Model
Unicorn WB
Type
ATX Mid Tower
Color
Black
Case Material
1.0mm SECC Steel
Motherboard Compatibility
ATX
With Side Panel Window
Yes
External 5.25” Drive Bays
4
External 3.5” Drive Bays
2
Internal 3.5” Drive Bays
4
Expansion Slots
7
Front Ports
2 x USB2.0, 2 x Audio Top Mount
80mm Fans

1 x 80mm Red LED Fan
1 x 80mm Black Fan

120mm Fans

1 x 120mm Red LED Fan
1 x 120mm fan

Side Air Duct
No
Dimensions
20.5" x 8" x 17.8" (DxWxH)

 

Features:

-All information sourced from the Sigma Unicorn page on Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811226031

 

Testing:

In order to correctly test the Sigma Unicorn, I'll be taking the temperatures of the components within the case. To test idle, I let everything sit at bone stock for 30 minutes. To test load, I stressed the CPU and RAM with OCCT, stressed the GPU with 3DMark06, stressed the hard drives with HD Tune and I took the readings from CoreTemp and SpeedFan. All of the temperatures are recorded in Celsius in a room with an ambient temperature of about 22C. The competitor for the Sigma Unicorn is the Enermax Uber Chakra, which is a full tower case, so we'll have to see if the size gives it an advantage over the Unicorn.

 

Comparison Cases:

 

 

 

 

 

I was expecting the Enermax Uber Chakra to perform better than the Sigma Unicorn since it is a full tower case which means there is more space for the hot air to move around. The fan that sits directly on the video card in the Sigma Unicorn case definitely proved that it helps keep the GPU temperatures slightly lower.

 

Conclusion:

The Sigma Unicorn's appearance appeals to me because I am a huge fan of all-black cases. I think that the smoked-out window is a wonderful addition and it definitely seperates this case from the competition. I especially like the feature of being able pull down both sides of the case for easy access to your components. The only downside to this is that with my aftermarket CPU heatsink, I was not able to close the motherboard tray without it hitting on the top of the case. This made it difficult to install the CPU heatsink and completely eliminates the possibility of me being able to pull that side of the case down to get easy access to the motherboard. The steel arm that goes across the middle of the case with a fan on the end of it is an excellent idea. It was cool to be able to secure the video card in place and cool it at the same time. The temperatures dropped roughly two degrees Celsius with the fan spot on the video card. The hard drive tray took a few tries to open it without any issues, so I can't mark it down. The tool-less system for the optical drives was an interesting system that I've never had on a case of my own. Basically, you fit two pins in the screw holes on the optical drive and then lock them into place by turning the plastic piece between the pins. It didn't seem to be very sturdy at first, but after checking it and using it, everything works fine. Overall, I enjoy the black and red color combination of the mid tower Sigma Unicorn. If you like the looks and you don't have a huge aftermarket CPU cooler, then you'll love this case and all of its features!

 

Pros:

 

Cons: